Mats Zuccarello Reportedly to Return From Europe; Rangers Cling to No. 8 seed
The New York Rangers struggled to muster offense for much of their 3-2 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday. Currently clinging to the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference with 33 points after notching the top seed last season, New York (15-13-3, 33 points) reached across the pond for 25-year-old Norwegian forward Mats Zuccarello on Monday, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
McKenzie tweeted, “If all goes well on paperwork/release front, Norwegian forward could be in Ranger lineup by the weekend. That’s if all goes well.”
Zuccarello tallied three points in 10 games for the Rangers in 2012 and 26 points overall in his career with the franchise. He started this lockout-shortened season on the reserve list — thus precluding him from needing to clear waivers and simplifying the process — while playing with the KHL‘s Magnitogorsk Metallurg in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia.
The Rangers are currently ranked 28th in the NHL in goals per game and 25th in power play percentage. New York is currently 8-0 when leading after the third period, but could certainly use some extra offensive punch to get out to more leads
“There’s no secret we need to score more goals,” captain Ryan Callahan said, via ESPN.com. “Bringing a guy in that can create offense definitely will help the team.” Rangers Coach John Tortorella was much less forthcoming after Monday’s practice “There’s no sense in me talking about Zuk,” Tortorella said. “He’s not here right now.”
In related Scandinavian news, the Rangers are also rumored to be adding 21-year-old Swedish winger Jesper Fast, according to ESPN.